The environmental mayor of Grenoble, Eric Piolle (Europe Ecologie-Les Verts, EELV), was sentenced, Wednesday, September 6, to a suspended fine by the Grenoble Court of Appeal in a case of favoritism in 2015. The court invalidates thus in part a decision rendered in October 2022 by the criminal court of Valence, which had released Mr. Piolle and his six co-defendants and which the general prosecutor’s office of Grenoble had appealed.
Mayor EELV, as well as three co-accused, are found guilty of the charges against them and sentenced to a suspended fine of 8,000 euros, detailed the court in its judgment delivered under advit. The three other defendants, including the Fusées ociation, beneficiary of the public contract, are on the other hand released.
During the second trial, which took place in June, the Advocate General had requested a fine of 15,000 euros, 7,500 of which was suspended and had “suggested a symbolic suspended sentence of imprisonment” against Mr. Piolle. She had not requested a penalty of ineligibility.
The mayor, who was absent when the verdict was announced, is “in misunderstanding”reacted after the hearing his lawyer, Thomas Fourrey. “Eight years of proceedings, searches, hearings, two days of hearing in Grenoble, two days of hearing in Valence. All that for that with a media barouf implemented by the municipal opposition ”he lamented.
Asked about a potential cation appeal, he explained that “the mayor reflected: it’s a culpability, but it’s also a suspended fine”. “I am bitter because I was hoping for a confirmed general release”for his part, reacted François Langlois, director general of services at the time. “We are found guilty of favoritism without there being a favourite”he said.
The Grenoble municipality was accused of having awarded a public contract without competition to an ociation for the organization of a popular festival which has been held every year since 2014 on one of the main arteries of the city. The Valence public prosecutor’s office opened a preliminary investigation in May 2018 following a report from the regional audit chamber (CRC), which reported that the municipality had, against the advice of its public procurement department, awarded in 2015 and in 2016 the organization of part of the Tile Festival at the Fusées ociation, close to the municipal majority.
The town hall, for its part, argued that in this specific case it was a public contract with an adapted procedure for an artistic performance that did not require competition. “Now Mr. Piolle and the kingpins of this patronage operation are sentenced to a suspended fine but they are sentenced”welcomed Wednesday after the hearing Thierry Aldeguer, lawyer for the municipal opposition, who was a civil party.
The World with AFP